Music Therapy Master's Degrees

Music Therapy Master's Degrees

Develop Your Clinical Skills

You will develop your skills as a music therapist, with focus on evidence-based music therapy techniques that promote changes in cognitive, sensorimotor, speech and language, and psychosocial functioning. This degree develops your use of music therapy techniques to:

  • Rehabilitate individuals with neurologic disease and disorders
  • Maintain functioning with older adults
  • Improve the communication, academic performance, and social skills of children with disabilities
  • Promote cognition and enhance memory
  • Facilitate motor development in children with disabilities
  • Improve treatment outcomes

The goal of the degree is to prepare students for advanced clinical practice with a variety of clientele. In addition, advanced training in research and functional music skills is emphasized. At the conclusion of the program, students are prepared to engage in advanced work in a variety of settings, in accordance with the AMTA Advanced Competencies.

CSU Music Therapy continues to be recognized as a leader in music therapy research training. Students have the opportunity to work in the Brainwaves Research Lab on collaborative projects with students from other CSU programs, including Occupational Therapy, Psychology, and Neuroscience. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research in the Music Therapy Research Academy, where music therapy faculty conduct research focused on diverse topics and needs. Graduate students may elect to complete a thesis (see curriculum sheet below), further providing opportunities for advanced training in research.

Program-level Learning Objectives

Students who earn the degree will demonstrate advanced learning in clinical practice, research, and teaching. Specific outcomes include:

  • Identify theoretical constructs from music therapy and related fields that underlie various clinical practices.
  • Define a variety of philosophies, approaches, and/or theories in music therapy.
  • Describe research according to ethical principles in a variety of methodologies in order to sufficiently address meaningful research questions in music therapy.
  • Implement a diverse and equitable approach to music therapy practice.


  • Plan A – 30 credits are required.
  • Plan B – 32 credits are required.
  • A minimum of 24 credits must be earned at Colorado State
  • University (up to six transfer credits accepted).
  • Up to nine credits may be taken before formal admission to
    the degree program. The degree is available with a thesis
  • (Plan A) or a non-thesis (Plan B) option in which the student completes a final project and written exam.

Western Regional Graduate Program

The Master of Music (M.M.), Music Therapy Specialization is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) exchange, which offers select graduate programs at the resident tuition rate to qualified non-resident students. Visit our WRGP webpage to learn about eligibility and the application process.

Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization

The Master’s degree program in music therapy at Colorado State University is intended to provide Board Certified music therapists with advanced training in clinical skills and research. Our curriculum specializes in neuroscience and evidence-based music therapy to improve sensorimotor, speech and language and cognitive function in children and adults who have disabilities. Specifically, the study of music therapy at CSU is designed to prepare music therapists for advanced clinical work in music therapy, as music therapy supervisors and administrators and for teaching positions at the college or university level.

Two master’s curriculum tracks are offered: the first is a thesis program of 30 credit hours designed to provide students with the opportunity to complete a substantial research project. The second track is a 32-hour program that requires, in lieu of a thesis, additional course work in music therapy, a final project, and a common final exam. Either program prepares the student to pursue doctoral study. Our academic curricula are approved by both the American Music Therapy Association and the National Association of Schools of Music.

Applicants are expected to be Board-Certified Music Therapists (or eligible to sit for the exam) and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills.

Application Information (PDF)

Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization, with Equivalency

The Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization with Equivalency is designed for the person who has excellent musicianship and has completed an undergraduate degree in music or a related area (including, but not limited to psychology and occupational therapy). Students take the necessary undergraduate prerequisite coursework to fulfill requirements for entry-level music therapy practice and graduate coursework in advanced clinical practice and research. After completing the coursework and a six-month clinical internship at an approved site, the student is eligible to sit for the Certification Board for Music Therapists exam. This degree requires at least two years of on-campus courses, then a year of internship and advanced clinical practicum. This program is only offered on campus.

Entrance Requirements:

  • Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in music or a related area (i.e., performance, music education, psychology, occupational therapy, etc.). 
  • Application and audition information (PDF)

CSU is proud to have a curriculum focused on the needs of the clinical music therapist with a focus on clinical musicianship, evidence-based practice, and integration of neuroscience concepts into music therapy practice. The department's dedicated research center on campus provides opportunities for student involvement in research and the on-campus teaching clinic allows students to learn how to apply music in therapy.

ONLINE: Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization

Colorado State University is committed to providing you flexible, convenient, and high quality degrees and courses online and at a distance. Advance your career as a music therapist while maintaining your current work placement. Through your course of study, you will learn how to use music as a form of therapy to address the physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.

Learn to work with people who have neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism, developmental disorders, and multiple sclerosis.

As this degree is delivered mostly online, earn your music therapy degree at your own pace and still maintain full-time employment. The program requires only one on-campus session, typically during the second year of the program. These weekends, from Thursday to Sunday, include training that is not possible to receive online.

Your interaction with the faculty and fellow students depends on the specific course. Online courses do provide you with online office hours and email contact. Collaborate on projects and exchange ideas with fellow classmates through email and discussion board postings.

Entrance Requirement: Applicants to the Master of Music, Music Therapy Specialization are expected to be Board-Certified Music Therapists (or eligible to sit for the exam) and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills. The Equivalency degree is offered on-campus only.

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